Preston-born climber Hugh Carthy has cemented his place among the pantheon of Grand Tour contenders with a magnificent podium place at the Vuelta an España, further proving there is a strong upcoming generation of three-week racers from the UK.
Just weeks after British cycling fans celebrated the Giro d’Italia victory of Tao Geoghegan Hart, 26-year old Carthy has emerged as the next stage race sensation from the British scene with a relentlessly attacking performance. He eventually finished 1.15 off the winner PrimoÅ¾ RogliÄ (JumboVisma), in third place.
After he put himself in a podium spot with his win atop the Alto de l’Angliru at the end of the race’s second week, Carthy made certain of his place with an impressive time trial performance, finishing fourth on the stage and putting 24 seconds into second-placed Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers). While some young riders might have been happy to consolidate their first podium spot at a Grand Tour, Carthy showed his ambition on Saturday by being the first of the GC favourites to attack on the day’s final climb to Alto de la Covatilla. The Prestonian accelerated away but was brought back and was then unable to follow the devastating attack of Carapaz, though he did manage to distance RogliÄ in the final stages of the climb.
He said: “I had to try something, I tried to attack in order to move up in the rankings. I got a bit desperate in the final, but I tried anyway.”
The EF rider said he was “very satisfied” with the overall result. “This is a turning point in my career,” he said. “I don’t want to slow down now, as there are still plenty of opportunities to come in the future. I can count on a great team, it is the perfect environment for a GC rider.”
All in the mind
Charly Wegelius, sports director at EF, was instrumental in bringing Carthy to the team from the Pro-Continental level Caja Rural in 2017; he said the Vuelta had been “a joy to watch”. “I’m proud to see him make those kind of steps. This year, the steps he’s made from a mindset and mental point of view have been great to watch,” he said..
“I don’t want to slow down now, I have the perfect team”
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